A ‘major shift’ in education

Oropi School principal Andrew King is looking forward to realising the possibilities of the Tauranga Peninsula Community of Learning. Supplied photo.

Eight Tauranga schools have united to form one of the largest Communities of Learning in the country.

The Ministry of Education initiative seeks to build greater cooperation between local schools.

Five such communities are planned for the Tauranga region, but Oropi School principal Andrew King says Tauranga Peninsula and Otumoetai are the first to be established.

“We formed last year and were endorsed by the Minister of Education, which means we've been able to fill out teacher vacancies for this year. The intention is to focus on the high schools we feed into, which are Tauranga Boys' and Tauranga Girl's College,” he says.

“It's about creating a more seamless pathway from Year 0 to 13, sharing information about learner needs, and achievement challenges we can all work to together to try and address.”

The schools involved are Gate Pa School, Greenpark School, Oropi School, Tauranga Boys' College, Tauranga Girls' College, Tauranga Intermediate, Tauranga Primary School, and Welcome Bay School.

“We've received funding for eight across-school teachers who basically facilitate all the programmes across the community. Altogether there are 41 in-school lead teachers, who put the professional development needs in place and lead initiative.”

It's still early days at the moment, with the main focus currently on planning.

“This term we're profiling and gathering all the information we need to work out how we can help each other to raise student achievement.”

The sharing of knowledge among teachers – what works, what doesn't – is among the appeals of the community.

“In a primary school there might be a really good programme of learning to transition five-year-olds to starting school. So teachers might do workshops with other schools on that. It's the same for Year 8 to Year 9 transitioning.

“We can also look at aligning testing and assessment better, as well as better sharing of student achievement.”

He says the Communities of Learning represent a change in thinking about the way state education is delivered.

“This is a major shift from the Tomorrow's Schools era that began in 1989, when competition became a notable feature of the system. Now we're looking at being more collaborative.”



6 Comments

Oh no!!

Posted on 19-03-2017 12:02 | By jed

Each time our educators make major shifts our education standards fall. Just look at our maths, teachers have been teaching 'strategies' rather than times tables and children have suffered huge declines in mathematical ability.

@ laugeo

Posted on 19-03-2017 11:03 | By Captain Sensible

BTW, socialists do not arrive on earth in spaceships nor do spaceships pick them up. They are already here and they live here amongst the normal people but busy every day on their agenda. Socialism 101; slowly slowly catchy monkey.

@ laugeo...wake up!

Posted on 19-03-2017 09:55 | By Captain Sensible

I think you are the conspiracy theorist by denying the obvious! Rivers with human rights, convicted pedophiles going to court because their toupee was confiscated, apartheid and race based privileges rampant in NZ, many uni students unable to read, write or count to a level that an Asian 8 year old can meet, the daily never ending erosion of democracy and common sense etc etc. It all comes because of the socialist brainwashing at schools ..."get em when they're young!"

@ Captain Sensible

Posted on 18-03-2017 22:43 | By laugeo

Really? All part of "the plan"? "Socialist Brainwashing Units"? Are you a conspiracy theorist per chance? You are clearly not a fan of the current system of education and instantly bemoan a new initiative to try and make improvements to it. Very helpful I'm sure. I have to go now, the 'mother ship' is due to pick me up!

But .....

Posted on 18-03-2017 14:05 | By GreertonBoy

will the kids be taught to spell and count again? Or is that not important any more?

all part of the plan

Posted on 18-03-2017 11:35 | By Captain Sensible

So instead of several 'Communities of Learning' ( AKA Socialist Brainwashing Units), we now have one big one.

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